OpEdNews Op Eds

The Vile Fascination with the Monkey Image of the Obama's (and African-Americans)

      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 1   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 3/10/10

- Advertisement -

The worst thing about the CEO of the Tennessee Hospitality Association Walt Baker's silly, sick, demeaning depiction of First Lady Michelle Obama as a chimp ironically is not the depiction. It's Baker's clueless defense. The instant the storm broke, and Nashville's mayor, the state's GOP leaders denounced him, and the contract was summarily yanked from his marketing firm, Mercatus Communications, to help promote the city's new convention center, Baker predictably wailed that he's not a bigot, racially insensitive, and the cartoon was nothing but political humor.

He fervently believes that. He just as fervently believes that lampooning Michelle Obama, and President Obama as a monkey, ape, gorilla is just can't you take a joke fun and games. He and the pack of race baiting websites, chat rooms, and of late, college frat parties, and student websites that ridicule the Obama's (and African-Americans) in assorted off beat, crude, vile cartoons and always with the vile depiction as monkeys or apes is by now standard fare. It's no accident that it is.

The long, sordid and savage history of racist stereotyping of African-Americans has been the stock in trade of race baiting and racial ridicule and for more than century. A few grotesque book titles from a century ago, such as The Negro a Beast, The Negro, a Menace to American Civilization, and the Clansman depicted blacks as apes, monkeys, bestial, and animal like. The image stuck in books, magazines, journals, and deeply colored the thinking of many Americans of that day; that day?

In the movie version of Rudyard Kipling children's classic, The Jungle Book, the Disney Studios in 1967 graduated from the other standard animal depiction of African-Americans as black crows to depicting African-Americans as the Monkey like jive, gibberish blathering King Louie. The film was remade in 1994.

Fifteen years later, New York Post Cartoonist Sean Delonas ignited a firestorm with his casual depiction of President Obama as a monkey. He did it precisely because that image didn't die a century, half century, a decade, or even a year ago. In 2007 Penn State researchers conducted six separate studies and found that many Americans still link blacks with apes and monkeys. Many of them were young, and had absolutely no knowledge of the vicious stereotyping of blacks of years past. Their findings with the provocative title "Not Yet Human: Implicit Knowledge, Historical Dehumanization and Contemporary Consequences," in the February 2008 issue of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, was published by the American Psychological Association.

The overwhelming majority of the participants in the studies bristled at the faintest hint that they had any racial bias. But the animal savagery image and blacks was very much on their minds. The researchers found that participants, and that included even those with no stated prejudices or knowledge of the historical images, were quicker to associate blacks with apes than they were to associate whites with apes.

- Advertisement -

This was not simply a dry academic exercise. The animal association and blacks has had devastating real life consequences. In hundreds of news stories from 1979 to 1999 the Philadelphia Inquirer was much more likely to describe African Americans than Whites convicted of capital crimes with ape-relevant language, such as "barbaric," "beast," "brute," "savage" and "wild." And jurors in criminal cases were far more likely to judge blacks more harshly than whites, and regard them and their crimes as savage, bestial, and heinous, and slap them with tougher sentences than whites.

First Lady Michelle Obama is a woman, a black woman, and a soft target for the frustrations and even scorn of the Obama loathers. During the campaign Obama opponents eagerly latched onto out-of-context statement she made at a campaign rally in which she allegedly questioned her faith in America, and made a supposedly less than reverential reference to the flag. They brutally tarred her as a closet anti-American, race-obsessed, black radical. That made her an instant campaign liability. For weeks she virtually disappeared from the campaign trail.

She has played a relatively low key role in the White House, and has succeeded in pretty much staying out of harm's way from the hits of hubby Obama's avowed enemies. That is all except when it comes to the image assault from the eternal animal mockery of blacks, an image that Baker and legions of other see nothing wrong with. It's an image that the First Lady and the President haven't seen the last of it. It's just too juicy, vile and hurtful to die. It's been that way for a century.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His nationally heard talk show is on KTYM-AM 1460 AM Los Angeles Friday 9:30 AM and KPFK Pacifica Radio 90.7 Los Angeles Saturday Noon PST.

- Advertisement -

 

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a nationally acclaimed author and political analyst. He has authored ten books; his articles are published in newspapers and magazines nationally in the United States. Three of his books have been published in other (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags
- Advertisement -
Google Content Matches:

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The House is duty-bound to Bring Articles of Impeachment against Clarence Thomas

Tea Party Now a Huge GOP Liability

Think of the Two Decade Embarrassment of Thomas We Would Have Been Spared If We had known about Thomas's Porn Alleged Ob

Clarence Thomas Can Breathe a Sigh of Relief with Weiner Downfall

Did Race Explain Penn State's Blind Eye to Sex Scandal?

Method to Thomas Madness on Obama Birth Certificate

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

there is no strike back. W looks very much like a ... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Mar 11, 2010 at 9:57:27 AM